Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Haunting of Wolfe Haven by Debbie A. Heaton

“Manuel used to do photography as a hobby, didn’t he? Do you suppose he could develop this roll for me and print a set of pictures? I want to see the prints before I leave tomorrow to be sure they’re good ones, but I don’t know where else to get film developed near here.”

Taking the roll, she slipped it into her pocket. “Of course he’ll be glad to do them for you, Miss. I’ll bring them when I come in the morning. He’s had to sell off some of his equipment but he can still develop and print.”

As we left the room, Bianca motioned toward the front of the house in the direction of the music, which sounded through the closed door. “She’s at it day and night, that one,” she said, with no great respect for the presence of a guest, and free with me as she would never have been with other members of the family.

“Who is she?” I was puzzled.

“That’s Miss Zoe, Mr. Colin’s latest.” Her shrug indicated disapproval. I had no interest in Colin’s women and asked no more questions.

“You needn’t come with me, Bianca.” I patted her arm. “I haven’t forgotten the way.”

Reluctantly she left me, heading toward the back stairs, perhaps remembering how I had managed to get lost in the house when I first lived here.

Cutting through the long gallery that connected the north and south wings, I glanced at the remote wall to which Isabelle’s portrait had been relegated. There was a time that I had felt a certain comradely sympathy for that unhappy daughter-in-law, but I had no time to pay my respects now. On the floor below, the stairway opened into the library.

The library was huge and occupied the area directly above the Great Hall. At one end was a massive stone fireplace with a raised hearth, before which lay an ankle-deep grizzly rug, synthetic, since the Russell family had never believed in destroying animals for sport or decoration. Other rugs were scattered about on the gleaming hardwood floor. Chairs, couches, and love seats were placed with casual elegance, each with an end table or coffee table. In one corner stood a tall, glass curio cabinet filled with more kachina dolls. The remaining walls held floor-to-ceiling bookcases filled with books on every topic imaginable. I had always liked the library, even though it was filled with gloom and shadow by night and on gray winter days.


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Genre – Romance (Gothic)

Rating – R for graphic sex and language

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